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Taking on a neighbours cat...

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by SezM, Apr 25, 2020.


  1. SezM

    SezM PetForums Member

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    I’m looking for some advice folks...

    My neighbour recently lost her husband and is thinking to leave for three months to her hometown in Greece. They have a kitty, Tiggy, she is about 10 and all affection and loves being outside.

    She loves me and I’m known as her other mummy - we are very fond of her and have offered to take her on for the time to reduce her stress and make sure she is well cared for.

    Only issue is have two boys, both neutered. Neither is particularly fighty... One is very homely, and possessive of me, but the other is more of an outdoorsy type. They are all aware of each other, sharing the same neighbourhood - but they stay out of each other’s way...

    How would you introduce them to share our home space, as we want to be able to welcome Tiggy into our home without the other two feeling upset or all out war breaking out!

    Thank you :) and here’s a pic of our boys and Tiggy is the little tabby on the blanket...
     

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  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @SezM

    It is one thing for a cat to get on OK with a cat who lives next door and quite a different thing if the same cat suddenly moves into your cats' home. The latter scenario will be regarded by your two as Tiggy invading their core territory and I would not expect it to go down well with your boys.

    The other problem is that with Tiggy moving only next door she is going to keep going back to her old home, crying to get.in the house and looking for her owner. You may find it difficult to get her to settle in your home, with her old home being a constant pull to her and it could cause her a lot of stress.

    What would be a much better idea for Tiggy and for your boys, would be if Tiggy could continue to live in her own home while her owner is away and you are entrusted with a key to the house and go in twice a day to feed her and check she is OK. If the owner is not keen for you to have access to the whole house she could get locks fitted to internal room doors just giving you (and Tiggy) access to the kitchen, hall and stairs.

    In any case if the owner will be away for 3 months leaving her house empty it is better if someone trustworthy (like yourself) has a key to the house in case of emergencies (e.g. burst water pipe).

    If you were going to adopt Tiggy permanently then there would be no choice but to integrate her with your boys, but you would need to take time over it and it would probably be best to keep Tiggy shut indoors for at least a month so that she could not go back to her old home.

    When trying to integrate an adult cat with resident adult cats I always use the screen door method. This involves giving the new cat a safe room with a full heigh mesh screen fitted in the doorway. The cats (new cat and resident cats) can then take their time getting the measure of each other. They can see each other, read each other's body language, hear each other, smell each other's scent.

    This method of introduction is even more important when the cats already know each other from living in the same neighbourhood.

    Also bear in mind that if you integrate Tiggy into your household, which may take a couple of months to complete, she may not want to go back to her old house when the owner returns. Or she may end up having two homes (yours and the owners). A bit confusing for her.
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    As it’s a temporary arrangement, I wouldn’t risk upsetting your own cats tbh.

    As you’re so close it makes more sense for the cat to stay in her own house and you having a key and feeding her and spending a bit of time with her in her own surroundings.

    She’ll also be more settled in her own home.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  4. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I agree with the others it would be better if she stayed in her own home. It sounds as if you already have quite a good arrangement with her enjoying being outside quite a lot which, with summer coming, will be a bonus. You would need to give her company some of the time so she doesn't feel lonely as three months is a long time so perhaps you could go in and feed her and stay for half an hour to an hour. I think she would be more settled this way and your cats wouldn't have any upset in their lives. Being an older cat, I'm sure when she is indoors on her own, most of the time she will be sleeping. .
     
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  5. SezM

    SezM PetForums Member

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    Thank you all for your help. I intend to spend time with her in her garden and quality time with her a a few times a week. All I want is the best for her. Her owner left yesterday, they will be back in August. We will see how it goes. Mostly I don’t want to see Tiggy distressed.
     
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